“Flushed Away” and “Dreamgirls” are coming from two entirely separate companies, but the general public probably won’t be able to tell.
Technically, since their split two years ago, DreamWorks Animation (the publicly traded toon studio that now has a distribution deal with Paramount Pictures) and DreamWorks SKG (the live-action studio owned by Paramount Pictures) have no business relationship anymore. But they’re using the exact same branding in ads for their movies.
Publicity materials for DWA’s upcoming “Flushed Away” feature the name “DreamWorks” above the title. They even feature the same logo with a boy fishing off a quarter-moon that DreamWorks had when it was a combined, independent studio — and which DreamWorks SKG still uses.
It turns out DreamWorks Animation retained rights to the “DreamWorks” name in the split and, rather than make viewers deal with the intricacies of a corporate split fueled by Paul Allen trying to cash out on his investments, the new entity decided to maintain its branding.
And whether out of apathy or purposeful cross-promotion, DreamWorks SKG is still promoting DWA toons on its Web site.